Earlier this year a report to General Synod stated that Dioceses in the Northern Province are losing under 16s at a rate of 35% a year. This is a shocking statistic but we are hopeful that our comprehensive strategy to support churches in their engagement with children and young people will not only stem the flow but start to reverse it.

What is important is that we listen to the children and young people so that we can better understand how to help them grow in knowledge and love of God, and reach out to their peers. We have a long-term plan to hear the voices of children and young people across the Diocese in the coming years, and we are starting with a youth forum in June.

We are inviting young people between the ages of 15 and 18 to join us at three sessions, one per day on Monday 6th, Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th July at 3.30-4.30pm or 7-8pm. The sessions will be held on Zoom and we will email the link and password for the meeting to participants the morning of each day. More information will be posted on the Youth Forum Facebook page

The three sessions will cover:

• Session One – Knowing me, Knowing God.

Getting to know each other and what we think about God

• Session Two – Knowing God, Knowing Church

What does the church need to look like (with particular emphasis on going forward after pandemic)?

• Session Three – Knowing God, Being Church

What does the world need to look like and what does God think the church should do about it?

The event is being run by Carolyn Edwards - the Diocesan Children and Youth Adviser, and three experienced youth workers who are all DBS checked. We will also be joined by DBS checked church employed youth workers from around the Diocese so that we are able to ensure that there are two adults in each of the breakout rooms.